Bar Scott

In support of joy

My writing friend Annie Scholl is writing an article about writing for Huffington Post. A week ago she reached out to me and a few other writers with a questionnaire about our writing habits. She’d heard we don’t write everyday like so many writing coaches and teachers insist we must. She wanted to know how we feel about that. I feel strongly. I write when I feel like writing and I don’t write when I don’t feel like writing. Probably my writing suffers as a result, but that’s ok. Yes, I’d like to be better at it, but I’d also like to be better at living freely and not worrying so much about whether I’m as good as I could be.

It also happened that I was doing my first-ever musical in town this past week. I didn’t think I was going to enjoy it as much as I am. We have 3 more shows this weekend. The last time I was involved in community theater was in junior high. The local group put on The Sound of Music. I was on the crew moving sets around and I loved every moment. I still know all the words. It makes me wonder why I haven’t done this kind of thing all along. Several people told me I reminded them of Julie Andrews this week. It made me smile. 

Annie’s questionnaire and my doing the play this month have made me think about why I do what I do. It’s all been so much fun. What I’ve enjoyed most is the relaxed playfulness of it all. There’s no pressure to be anything more than we are. We’ve worked hard, laughed a lot, and there are plenty of crooked dance steps and lost lines in every show, but the overall experience is joyful. I think that’s why I don’t write or play the piano everyday. I don’t see the point of writing or creating anything when I’m not enjoying it. 

As luck would have it, I finished reading a book this week that addressed this issue. Muriel Barbery is a French writer whose books are translated by Alison Anderson. I loved Burbery’s first  book: The Elegance of the Hedgehog, so I was determined to finish this second book, Gourmet Rhapsody, which I didn’t like as much. (The writing is exquisite, but the story revolves around food and wine, neither of which I’m particularly interested in). The main character is a renowned food critic who is on his deathbed. A single flavor from his past is haunting him. He can’t remember what it is and he’s desperate to know before he dies. The book is a catalogue of his favorite meals and their contexts. I wanted to know what his obsession was so I kept reading. My tenacity paid off. In the final paragraphs, he remembers the simple croquettes he ate as a boy –plastic-wrapped cream puffs he’d bought at the supermarket. (I think of the Tastykake butterscotch krimpets my mom got for us). After decades of snobbish writing about all the fine foods he’d eaten in his lifetime, he admits to himself, “I could have written about chouquettes my whole life long; and my whole life long, I wrote against them. It is only in the instant of my death that I have found them again, after so many years of wandering.”

When I read that I wondered how much wandering I’ve been doing. 



L - R: Bev Allen, the director, and my nemesis in the play; Brooke Parrent, aka Olivia; and Katie Schepmann, aka Poppy. Katie and I did a duet called "Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better" Bev and I sang "For Good" from Wicked. Brooke sang "And I'm Telling You" from DreamGirls. 


hi Carmel. Thanks for reading and responding to my blog. It’s always a thrill to hear from people who’ve read what I’ve written. I understand the writing lulls and breaks but as you can see I’m not as troubled by them as I used to be. Life is too short to worry about every little thing so I try to give myself credit for the things I Have done rather than beat myself up for the things I haven’t. Hard to do on many days, but it’s my goal. Glad to hear you’re hiking so much. I haven’t done much out here compared to the hiking I did in the Catskills. Someday! And I’m glad you enjoyed the play, too. We rehearse again tonight and I’m curious to see how much I’ve forgotten. So much fun!! Thanks for the kudos! see you soon, Bar
We enjoyed the show so much and hated to see it end! I'm so very glad we got to see how talented our locals are. You are indeed a marvel. I'm stuttering in my writing but, again, you've given us great advice. Just came back from a short hiking/camping trip in the Crestones. I find joy in hiking, not just in our spectacular scenery but simply putting one foot in front of the other. I love hiking the canyons in Utah; I get a special feeling there that I've been struggling to describe. Now here's my prompt: connect it to mountain hiking. Oh joy!
Dear Cack, these are good quotes. How'd you do that so fast?? All food for thought. I'm happiest when I'm not trying to be something. But then I have pangs of wanting to be better known or better at something. It's all part of living. This week's been a blast and I'm grateful. xo yore seestore.
Dear Bar, Glad you're having such fun. Thought you might enjoy these quotes: Pablo Casals quotes (showing 1-3) “Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart..” “Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michaelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.” “To the whole world you might be just one person, but to one person you might just be the whole world.” ― Pablo Casals

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